david leavitt

People in Fiction: While England Sleeps

while england sleepsDavid Leavitt’s 1993 novel, While England Sleeps, is an ambitious inter-generational, cross-class, multi-national story about love and loss.

Set in England in the 1930s, it is narrated by Brian Botsford, a young man from a privileged background who wants to be a writer. Brian meets a young working-class man, Edward, who is employed on the Underground, itself the subject of a play Brian is writing. The two strike up a passionate relationship, living together in Brian’s small, one-bed flat.

Edward is a likable character, self-educated and deeply committed to the Communist Party ideas (it was at a CP meeting Brian and Edward first met). He carries the Manifesto with him everywhere, reading it often, determined to understand every word. He possesses an innocence which is wholly appealing in his belief that the world can become a better place, and he accepts his sexuality and his desire for Brian with an easy enthusiasm which Brian cannot reciprocate. Continue reading →

Posted by Kate Aaron in Fiction, Queer Blogging